for the women

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Posted by Lilly from D007187.N1.Vanderbilt.Edu ( on Sunday, August 25, 2002 at 7:57PM :

I 1st came across this poem, written by Sylvia Plath in her early years (before she met dear Teddy), when I was working as an aid (work study) for the English Dept in undergrad. One of the profs asked me to xerox a lot of poems by Plath for one of her classes. So, while I was at the library looking up the books & xeroxing, I decided to check out Letters Home & a few other books of her poetry... & I fell in love w/ Plath, who I'd never read before. So, this one is "Sonnet" from Letters Home (section Sept. 27, 1950 - June 1953).

All right, let's say you could take a skull and break it
The way you'd crack a clock; you'd crush the bone
Between steel palms of inclination, take it,
Observing the wreck of metal and rare stone.
This was a woman: her loves and stratagems
Betrayed in mute geometry of broken
Cogs and disks, inane mechanic whims
And idle coils of jargon yet unspoken.

Not man nor demigod could put together
The scraps of rusted reverie, the wheels
Of notched tin platitudes concerning weather,
Perfume, politics, and fixed ideals.

The idiot bird leaps up and drunken leans
To chirp the hour in lunatic thirteens.

-- Lilly
-- signature .

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